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Live Music, Ownership Change Headed To Martin Macks

Live Music, Ownership Change Headed To Martin Macks
Photo:  Camden Avery/Hoodline
By Camden Avery - Published on March 04, 2015.

It's been a topsy-turvy few years for Martin Macks, the quarter-century fixture at 1568 Haight St., and if you've noticed the new signs in the window, you might expect some changes on the way. Here's what we know about what may, and may not, be in the works.

After a long ownership tenure by Brian Maloney, the bar reverted to new management back in 2012 as the result of a legal dispute, and re-opened a week later.

At the time, management of the bar reverted to a third party charged with maintaining the operation throughout the legal dispute. That fall, Haight Street Partners LLC was formed and established a liquor license for the bar and restaurant under the name "Joplins."

Although there's currently no sign on the storefront and the operation has been legally operating as Joplins, 1568 Haight has effectively (and on Yelp) remained Martin Macks, as regulars well know.

The liquor license for Joplins expired last month, and the notices that have appeared in the last week seem to indicate a changing wind for the bar.

Two permit changes are currently underway for the bar. One is a limited performance permit that would allow the bar to host live music (other than DJs, according to the law) until 10pm. The other is a change of ownership application for a stock ownership change that would legally put "HQ Bar & Restaurant" in the driver's seat.

However, the ownership change might not yield as much tumult as it would seem. Vivian Walsh, the applicant for the LPP, is the owner of HQ Bar & Restaurant (which seems to be a business name, and not an actual brick-and-mortar location) and is also listed in the state record as the agent for Haight Street Partners LLC (the group that assumed ownership of the bar in the fall of 2012). Walsh is also the owner of the Sunset's Durty Nelly's out on Irving and 25th.

Staff at the bar today were unable to comment on the changes taking place, but it seems that for curious regulars of the bar, the changeover will yield the same bar we know ... maybe with a little extra live music.